What Does Accreditation Mean for My Care
Whether you are getting ready to undergo a surgical procedure, selecting a pediatrician for your newborn, or something in between, your health care choices matter. You should feel empowered to ask your physician questions, not only about his or her personal credentials and training, but also about the practice as a whole.
Seeing the AAAHC Certificate of Accreditation can help answer some of your questions. AAAHC accreditation means that the organization has undergone a thorough review of its policies and practices and is committed to quality patient care.
A list of AAAHC-accredited facilities can be found on this web site by clicking here. If you don't see your center listed, ask about their accreditation status. They may be accredited by another organization or they may have chosen not to undergo any accreditation process.
Below are some examples of what the Accreditation Association looks for when surveying an organization. Note: Organizations considering accreditation should obtain a copy of the appropirate Accreditation Handbook for a conprehensive list of Standards.
- Are patients treated with respect, consideration and dignity?
- Are patients provided with complete information concerning their diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis, and given the opportunity to participate in decisions involving their health care?
- Are patients given information about their rights and responsibilities, services available to them at the organization, provisions for after-hours and emergency care, fees, payment policies and credentialing of health care professionals?
- Is there a process for identifying, analyzing, reporting, and preparing an action plan for adverse incidents?
- Does the organization have an appropriate procedure for validating the qualifications of individuals who provide health care services?
- Does the organization have an appropriate procedure for determining what types of procedures a health care professional may provide?
- Does the organizations maintain an appropriate and secure health information system?
- Are there appropriate personnel policies?
- Does the organization do periodic patient satisfaction surveys?
- Are patients contacted in a timely manner regarding significant problems and/or abnormal lab findings?
- Are there mechanisms in place to ensure the transfer of patients when appropriate?
- Does the organization have procedures in place for reviewing their quality of care?
- Does the organization participate in an ongoing quality improvement program?
- Does the organization have a risk management program designed to protect the life and welfare of its patients and employees?
- Does the organization have an organized and secure system for collecting, processing, maintaining, and storing patient records?
- Are the presence or absence of allergies and untoward reactions to drugs and other materials recorded in a uniform location in patient charts?
- Are patient records transferred to the new health care professional when a patient is transferred?
- Does the organization adhere to nationally-recognized infection control guidelines?
- Is the organization maintaining a functional and sanitary environment for the provision of services?
- Does the organization document its infection control and safety programs?
- Does the organization encourage employee participation in seminars, workshops, and other educational activities that are relevant to its missions and objectives?
- Does the organization continuously monitor the maintenance of licensure and/or certification of professional personnel?
- Does the organization comply with all state and local building codes and regulations?
- Does the organization have the necessary personnel, equipment, and procedures to handle medical and other emergencies that may arise?
- Is the space allotted for a particular function or service adequate for that function?
- Are the anesthesia services provided by the organization adequately supervised by a physician or dentist qualified by the governing body?
- Does the organization receive the informed consent of the patient for the nature of the anesthesia planned?
- Does the organization have the appropriate resuscitative equipment for patients receiving anesthesia?
- Are the surgical procedures performed in the facility limited to those procedures approved by the governing body?
- Are surgical procedures performed by health care professionals that are licensed to perform such procedures and have been granted privileges by the governing body?
- Does the organization have a safe environment for treating surgical patients, including adequate safeguards to protect them from cross-infection?
The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care is a private, non-profit organization formed in 1979 to assist ambulatory health care organizations in improving the quality of care provided to patients. It accomplishes this by setting Standards, measuring performance and providing consultation and education where needed. Accreditation is ultimately awarded to those organizations that are found to be in compliance with AAAHC Standards.